At the age of 16, Barry Melrose joined the Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 1972-73. He quickly established himself as a rugged defensive defenseman. The following year he played 50 games with the team, scoring two goals and 21 points while racking up 162 minutes in penalties.
Melrose joined the Kamloops Chiefs of the Western Central Junior Hockey League in 1974-75 and had 24 points in 70 games. The next year he contributed 12 goals and 61 points in 72 games. He was selected in the second round of the 1976 NHL amateur draft, 36th overall by the Montreal Canadiens. However, Melrose was also chosen 37th overall in the fourth round of the WHA amateur draft by the Cincinnati Stingers and realizing he had little chance of cracking the powerful Canadiens lineup, which had the likes of Serge Savard, Guy Lapointe and Larry Robinson patrolling the defense, opted to sign with the Stingers. During his first season in Cincinnati, Melrose played in 29 games where he had a goal and five points. He played two more seasons in Cincinnati until the collapse of the WHA following the 1978-79 season. He was then claimed by the Quebec Nordiques in the WHA dispersal draft on June 8, 1979 but just 20 days later was traded to the Winnipeg Jets for Jamie Hislop and Barry Legge. He played an entire season with the Jets, scoring four goals and ten points in 74 games.
Melrose began the 1980-81 campaign in Winnipeg before being claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs on the waiver wire from Winnipeg on November 30, 1980. He spent three years in Toronto before signing a free-agent contract with the Detroit Red Wings on July 5, 1983. However, he played just 14 games in the Motor City before being demoted to the Adirondack Red Wings of the AHL. He played for another year in the minors before retiring after the 1986-87 season. Melrose played in 178 NHL games, scoring ten goals and 33 points with 728 minutes in penalties.
Melrose soon got into coaching and in 1992-93 led the Los Angeles Kings to an improbable berth in the Stanley Cup finals where they went down to the Montreal Canadiens in five games.
Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame